Sunday, July 3

How we test products at Insider Reviews

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Insider’s history traces back to 2007 when it was a tech and business blog called Silicon Alley Insider. It has since grown into a major site for news and lifestyle stories. In 2015, the company launched Insider Picks, the precursor to what is now Insider Reviews , to help shoppers navigate the complex retail industry and make the best purchasing decisions.

Today, Insider Reviews is part of Insider’s Service Journalism department and is helmed by a team of experienced journalists who test and write about consumer products in a variety of categories, including home and kitchen, tech and electronics, pets, parenting, education, health and fitness, outdoors, style, and beauty. Our in-depth research and testing are what help inform our recommendations to readers.

Insider Reviews contributor Shoshi Parks testing the Gen7Pets Geometric Roller Backpack, a cat carrier.

Insider Reviews pets writer Shoshi Parks testing a cat carrier backpack.

Shoshi Parks/Insider

What types of products we test

Below is a sampling of some of the core products and services that the Insider Reviews team test. All products are put through a rigorous testing process, and, when applicable, are also put through long-term testing.

Home and kitchen: Cookware, small appliances, furniture, home decor, mattresses, bedding, DIY and gardening tools, smart home, and home office. The team also tests foods and drinks, delivery services, and many other home and kitchen-related products.

Tech: Smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, smartwatches and wearables, TVs, stereo systems, headphones, home entertainment/streaming, and gaming. Read more about how we test tech products.

Pets: Cat and dog food, harnesses, litter boxes, collars, apparel, flea medication for dogs and cats, and many other pet accessories and services. Reporters enlist their cats, dogs, and other pets to help test products, while pet health articles are medically reviewed by veterinarians and supported by expert interviews.

Education and personal development: E-learning courses from top universities, books, and other educational resources.

Health and fitness: Workout clothes for women and men, thermometers, bikes, tents, outdoor gear, fitness equipment, health supplements, oral care, and more. Insider Reviews’ health articles are medically reviewed by doctors and other health professionals, and supported by expert interviews.

Style and beauty: Apparel for women and men, shoes for men and women, bags, jewelry, underwear, bras, skincare, cosmetics, and other fashion-related topics. The team also puts health-related personal care products through a medical review to ensure they are safe to use.

Travel: Travel experiences, hotels, Airbnbs, resorts, and many domestic and international destinations. The team also reviews travel gear and offers travel-related tips and tricks.

Galaxy s20 ultra 37x zoom

Senior Tech Correspondent Lisa Eadicicco testing a smartphone’s camera.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

How we test products

Insider Reviews tests products the way people would use them in everyday life. Instead of a lab environment, we use products in the real world. To conduct our tests, we create a methodology for each product, which is based on research, consultation with experts in the topic, and experience from editors and reporters. All tests are tracked and the results are used to determine which products are worth recommending to readers. Our testing process is explained in greater detail within our buying guides, which includes information on why some products pass the grade and why others didn’t. In addition to our in-house testers, we also have an internal council of volunteers who help us test products and offer additional perspectives.

Insider Reviews editor Rick Stella testing the ergatta rower 2, an exercise rowing machine for home use.

Fitness Editor Rick Stella testing the touchscreen of an exercise rowing machine.

Rick Stella/Insider

Why you can trust us

Insider Reviews is a team of 30 full-time editors and reporters, plus a network of more than 100 experienced freelancers. Our team is organized based on our core coverage areas mentioned above, with each section focusing on reviewing the products, services, and industries they know best.

In addition to product reviews, we also maintain our vast collection of buying guides. These guides, which are tied to our reviews, recommend the best products for what readers are searching for (for example, the best espresso machines). In both reviews and guides, we thoroughly test or research every product we recommend. We apply additional scrutiny by consulting a panel of experts to ensure our information is accurate and offer buying advice. And for topics like health, parenting, and pets, we have a medical review board that fact checks our reviews and buying guides.

In all our articles, the reader always comes first. The Insider Reviews team aims to answer every question that readers may have while helping them discover new products and services

Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress at Universal

Style and Beauty Fellow Jacqueline Saguin testing an exercise dress at an amusement park.

Jacqueline Saguin/Insider

Insider Inc. earns commissions when products and services are purchased through links in our stories. However, our editorial team has complete independence to write about the products and services we truly deem the best based on our extensive testing and research. We do not make decisions based on affiliate relationships, and we would never write about a product that we didn’t fully stand behind as product journalists. There is even a team that handles adding affiliate links into our stories, so our editorial recommendations and retailer selections remain unbiased.

Meet our senior team leaders

Read more about our teams

If you want to learn more about how each team tests products and meet the rest of our editors and writers on the following vertical-specific pages, check out these pages: